Oil/Gas Facts & Figures

  • According to BP’s 2012 Statistical Review of World Energy, Latin America and the Caribbean represents twenty percent (336 BBO) of the world’s proven conventional and unconventional oil reserves; Venezuela alone has 296 billion barrels of proven conventional and unconventional oil reserves surpassing Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest holder of proven oil reserves.
  • The 2009 U.S. Geological Survey Orinoco Oil Belt Assessment reflects a mean estimate for recoverable heavy oil from the Orinoco Oil Belt in Venezuela alone is 513 BBO.
  • The 2012 USGS’s Estimate of Undiscovered Conventional Oil and Gas Resources of the World indicates that Latin America and the Caribbean mean, undiscovered, technically recoverable oil at 145 BBO representing the world’s region with the largest share (26%) of undiscovered oil reserves.
  • According to the United States EIA Argentina and Mexico are the third and fourth largest holders, respectively, of technically recoverable shale gas reserves in the world.
  • Latin America’s primary energy demand will reach 45 quadrillion BTU in 2040 from 26 quadrillion BTU in 2010, according to ExxonMobil’s Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. The region will represent 6% of global energy demand in 2040 from 5% in 2010.
  • By energy type, oil will account for the bulk of the fuel mix in Latin America in 2040 with 41% (47% 2010) followed by gas (29%, 21% 2010), biomass/waste (11%, 16% 2010), hydro (9%, no change), other renewables (6%, 3% 2010), coal (3%, no change) and nuclear (1%, no change).
  • Industry will be the region’s principal end user in 2040 with 51% (no change from 2010) followed by transport (32%, 31% 2010) and residential/commercial (16%, 18% 2010).
  • OPEC’s December 2012 monthly oil market report also reflects a positive short term view of Latin America will be world’s second fastest oil consumption growth in 2013 with regional demand poised to rise by 2.37% to 6.69Mb/d. Only the Middle East – whose demand is expected to jump 2.4% to 8Mb/d – is expected to grow more, while demand in Western Europe is forecast to dip 1.72% to 13.6Mb/d.

*Articles Cited

BP’s 2012 Statistical Review

ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook

USGS’ Assessment of Undiscovered Conventional Oil and Gas Resources of South America and the Caribbean, 2012